The sudden decline of Darrelle Revis is not going well for anyone involved. The superstar cornerback, a longtime member of the Jets twice now, is playing poorly in 2016 and perhaps set to play his last game with the Jets this coming week.
There were rumors that Revis doesn't even want to play football anymore -- he didn't help dispel those rumors when he answered questions about why he's playing football by answering that he's "under contract."
And now, in an interview with the New York Post, he's complaining the Jets aren't treating him with enough "class"
"Would I love to be here? Yes," Revis said. "Will I be back? That's a great question. My thing would be this: Do the New York Jets want to treat my situation with class or no class? With me being one of the best players in the history of this franchise, do they want me to retire here or not retire here?
"That's the biggest question. It's black and white. It's not very complicated."
That's a pretty ominous quote if there ever was one. Revis was drafted by the Jets in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft and was involved in several highly public contract negotiations (including one that basically took place on "Hard Knocks"). He was traded to the Buccaneers and given a mammoth contract by Tampa Bay in April of 2013. That worked out poorly for everyone. After a year with the Patriots, Revis re-signed with New York in 2015 on another huge deal.
Like all of Revis' deals, it looked ripe for controversy in the future. Unlike Revis' other deals, he isn't playing at a high level when it came time to renegotiate. And he doesn't really sound like he wants to play either.
"I've been one of the best cornerbacks to ever play this game," Revis told the Post. "I've done a lot of things in this league that a lot of guys currently playing are chasing now. I've impacted the game in a way where it was like, 'Hey, he doesn't give up any catches to the No. 1 [receiver].' I set a precedent.
"So, I've done enough. Obviously, everybody's a little bit concerned because that's not what I'm displaying anymore. I can't stay 24 [years old] forever. Every player ages in this game. You've got to understand that."
Revis described football as "like a girlfriend," someone he's been "dating for a long time" but apparently acknowledged it might be time for a breakup.
In other words, retirement is on the table. Which may explain why he's trying to get the Jets to meet him in the middle -- Revis, ever the crafty negotiator, sees what's happening on the other side of the table.
The Jets can release Revis this offseason and face just $6 million in money against the cap. Keeping him in 2017 would mean $15 million cap hit. Given his struggles on the field, it's a no-brainer decision to save the $9 million, assuming Revis won't restructure the deal, take a pay cut and potentially make a move to safety.
That's a big hit in both cash and pride for a guy who has always been at the top of his profession in both money and skill.
Take another victory lap, Father Time.